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Family Pathway

There are a number of ways in which we support families in crisis. Oftentimes, we train families in the Low Arousal Approach. The idea of transactional stress within family and support systems is at the heart of Professor Andrew McDonnell’s Low Arousal Approach. To learn more about the Low Arousal Approach, join our weekly Online Low Arousal Training at both introductory and advanced levels to begin understanding and implementing Low Arousal Approaches. Our aim is to provide families with an intervention toolkit which can help them to implement a positive psychological framework within the home, in order to create a less stressful environment with coping strategies in place to prevent crisis situations from arising.

We have a particular speciality in working with families, whether foster carers or parents of children with autism, intellectual disability and other conditions. We also support residential care and adoption services, providing Mental Health and Well-Being Supports, advisory comments, training, supervisory advice, and therapeutic intervention.


Within a person-centred and empathic model, we work hard to hear all voices in a family unit and advocate for families where possible.

Family Training

We offer a range of family training packages in neurodiversity support, Low Arousal Approaches, and more. 

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What Do We Do?

The support we provide to families, carers and young people includes:

  • Conducting detailed assessments to identify and respond to the child’s individual needs and abilities

  • Supporting families and young people in recognising and understanding the true impact of poor life experiences, trauma, abuse and neglect

  • Independent baseline and specialist clinical assessments

  • The development and maintenance of management guidelines and risk assessments/enhanced risk assessments

  • Individual Behavioural Support Programmes

  • Integrated 'good life' approaches to changing difficult behaviours - i.e. positive psychology interventions

  • Independent monitoring, evaluation and review

  • Psychological and integrated psychotherapeutic support, including direct therapeutic work with young people and staff (for individuals one-on-one, as well as in group settings)

  • Psychological health assessments and long-term support

  • Crisis support for young people who present with behaviours which may be concerning or challenging

Studio 3 Family Pathway

The following are examples of what our Family Pathways Approach looks like in practice. The Studio 3 approach engages with the whole system around a person, and so the Family Pathway described below may intersect with other pathways within our Mental Health and Well-Being Support pathways. If you are unsure about what services we can offer you, a person you support, or your organisation, please make a referral where one of our experienced clinicians can advise you further.

  • Well-being support for families in a wide range of areas, including general support for carers who are struggling with, for example, transitioning between services or finding and accessing an appropriate level of care.

  • Working with our colleagues at Lives Through Friends, an independent service brokerage, to support transitions for families seeking to move individuals from hospitals or services to community-based placements or to be supported at home, including support with accessing services and creating a roadmap to care pathways.

  • Therapeutic support for parents/carers, family members such as siblings, and individuals themselves where appropriate. This can include one-to-one therapy, group therapy, joint sessions with family members and general coaching, advice and support for carers and other practitioners.

  • Supporting carers around their own self-care within one-to-one or group therapy sessions, either within services or with individuals. This can include support with understanding, recognising and managing your own stress and anxiety.

  • Working with the individual and other members of the family in order to enact a collaborative and positive approach to creating a team of support around the individual.

  • Mediating between parents and services/staff to create open dialogues around support, nurture good working relationships, and ensure consistency of approaches throughout the individual’s network of support.

  • Supporting parents/carers of children who have autism or anxiety related difficulties where direct work with the child is not possible or appropriate.

  • Helping parents manage and cope with caregiver burden. This might lead to therapy proper with one of our lead clinicians where sought.

  • Offering access to training or introduction to Low Arousal Approaches, whether online or in person. These can be tailored to bespoke sessions with parents where necessary.

  • Supporting the family in multi-disciplinary professional settings so that their perspective is heard. For example, we often attend review meetings in settings such as at school, social work overview, care settings, guardianship cases, or where there is wider medical involvement and a person is in hospital for example. Supporting a child and family so that the child can manage to maintain a placement at mainstream school is an example of where we can help re-frame understandings of behaviour and neurodiversity by other professionals and prevent school exclusion.

  • Working with looked after children who are in care. Here we may offer training such as trauma-informed support to fostering/adoption services or, if appropriate, work directly with the young person. We also offer training, coaching and practitioner work to residential care workers and care teams. We undertake this work across the UK but particularly in Wales where David Walker of Studio 3 offers Trauma-Informed Care Training using the Safety, Stability, Repair and Resilience (SSRR) model to support children in a range of care settings. We also provide aftercare and follow-ups, where we seek to support the whole system and provide ongoing support and advice. We also support transitions and work closely with staff teams as well as the young person on a one-to-one basis in order to inform staff in their approaches, as we consider carers to be the key agents of change. This includes social workers, foster carers, schools, and Local Authorities, encompassing the entire support team around the child.

  • Supporting guardians or services around capacity questions.

  • Liaising with solicitors of advocates for individuals around review of models of care and support where new pathways of service configuration are sought.

  • Providing court reports for tribunals, appeals, and claims, specialising in complex cases for Health and Local Authorities (including health, social care, and education sectors) in the UK and Ireland. This can involve offering opinions around injuries at work; level of and adherence to training/policies; safety risks; alleged organisational failures and oversights; risk assessments etc.

  • Providing input and supports for families facing legal action, for example reframing and explaining to courts and police new perspectives on behaviour, level of need, and required support for families.

For further information or to discuss options for family support, please submit a referral.

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